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After Libertadores setback, Santos goes second in Brazil

Posted: Monday July 07, 2003 1:23 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) -- Santos, beaten by Boca Juniors in Wednesday's South American Libertadores Cup final, bounced back with a 3-1 home win over Coritiba to go second in the Brazilian championship on Sunday.

The victory took Santos within one point of leaders Cruzeiro, who went down to a shock 1-0 defeat at lowly Figueirense.

Santos coach Emerson Leao rested six first-team players, including teenagers Diego and Robinho, but his side were still too strong for Coritiba.

Midfielder Jerri, standing in for Diego, opened the scoring from close range in the 35th minute after the Coritiba defence failed to clear the ball.

Coritiba had full-back Willians sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second half and Santos finished off their opponents with two goals in four minutes from midfielder Fabiano and defender Preto.

Tcheco replied for Coritiba direct from a free-kick.

Cruzeiro, who had coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo serving a 30-day touchline ban for running on to the pitch to protest to a referee, were beaten by a late goal from Willian in Florianopolis.

The leaders have 31 points from 16 games and have played a game more than Santos.

Striker Ilan scored a hat-trick, making him the championship's top scorer with 13 goals, as Atletico Paranaense defeated Corinthians 3-1 in a match interrupted in the 30th minute by a torrential downpour.

Play resumed after a half-hour delay but the pitch, by now waterlogged, was virtually unplayable and the decision to carry on angered Corinthians coach Geninho.

"The game didn't exist," he told reporters. "It was a high-risk game and somebody could have got hurt.

"In the first 10 minutes, when the pitch was dry, we were in control."

The weather also played havoc in the 1-1 draw between Juventude and Internacional, the second half taking place in thick fog which reduced visibility to only a few meters.

Fluminense, missing striker Romario with a knee injury, edged Bahia 1-0 with a second-half penalty by Carlos Alberto, who missed a penalty last week against Corinthians.

Bahia finished with 10 men after defender Accioly was sent off. Ten yellow cards were also shown.

Boca celebrate in one stadium, routed 7-2 in another

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) -- Boca Juniors, who won South America's Libertadores Cup on Wednesday, were destroyed 7-2 by Rosario Central in the Argentine Clausura championship on Sunday.

Boca, with the domestic title already in the hands of River Plate, sent youth players to Rosario while the first team and coach Carlos Bianchi completed a lap of honour in front of 40,000 fans at the Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires.

Rosario striker Luciano Figueroa took advantage of the Boca party by grabbing five goals against their reserves to finish as the championship's top scorer with 17.

Back in the Bombonera, Boca's first team were presented with their medals on a huge stage in the middle of the pitch while a giant screen replayed the best moments in the club's history.

River, Boca's archrivals, organized their own celebrations after wrapping up the domestic crown last Sunday.

An estimated 60,000 fans watched River complete their own lap of honour before the match against Racing Club. River also lost, 3-1.

The results did not change the order as Boca finished second, Velez Sarsfield third and Rosario fourth.

Boca and River, Argentina's two most popular clubs, had spent the previous week trading jibes about which title was more important and each seemed determined to put on a bigger show than the other in celebration.

A message on Boca's screen read: "We've brought the Cup to Argentina, the Cup that the 'Gallinas' [River's nickname] couldn't win."

River were knocked out of the Libertadores in the quarterfinals by Colombia's America.

The final day of the championship was marred when the match between relegated Huracan and Olimpo was abandoned in the 74th minute with the score 0-0 after around 60 home fans invaded the pitch.

The supporters attempted to pull the shirts off the Huracan players, apparently wanting souvenirs of their club's final first division game.

Former Argentina coach Carlos Bilardo finished the championship with his unbeaten record at Estudiantes intact after they beat relegated Union 2-0.

The victorious 1986 World Cup coach, who was persuaded to return to help his former club, has been in charge for nine games.

Arsenal, coached by Jorge Burruchaga, who scored the winning goal in the 1986 World Cup final, drew their 10th match in 19 outings as they held Gimnasia-La Plata 0-0. Arsenal scored only 12 goals and conceded 13.

Cobreloa win Chilean title with 4-0 rout

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) -- Cobreloa won the Chilean championship on Sunday with a stormy 4-0 final victory over Colo Colo, who had three players sent off including Ivan Zamorano.

The three dismissals in the second-leg tie all came after Colo Colo players surrounded the referee to protest against Cobreloa's third goal, which they claimed was offside.

Zamorano, 36, who said last week he may quit after the game, was shown the red card along with Miguel Rifo and Marco Villaseca.

Striker Zamorano, who has scored eight goals in the championship while being plagued by a knee injury, returned to Chile at the start of the year to play for Colo Colo, the team he supported as a boy.

He has promised to announce this week whether he will continue playing.

Cobreloa, based in Calama in the Atacama desert, were favorites to win the title after drawing the first leg 0-0 in Santiago.

The Desert Foxes dominated the game and went ahead through Luis Fuentes after 28 minutes.

Argentine Jose Luis Diaz scored the second in the 66th minute and Patricio Galaz the controversial third six minutes later. Galaz also grabbed the last goal with three minutes left.

The win was a fitting send-off for coach Nelson Acosta, who is leaving to take charge of the Bolivian national team.

"This will be difficult to forget," Acosta, who led Chile at the 1998 World Cup, told reporters.

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